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EGL 16 W — Writing Mysteries and Thrillers: How to Craft Successful Intrigue and Suspense

Quarter: Winter
Course Format: Online (System Requirements)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Jan 14—Mar 22
Drop Deadline: Jan 17
Units: 3
Tuition: $895
Instructor(s): Seth Harwood
Limit: 17
Status: Closed
Please Note: Online courses have a new refund policy. The full tuition refund deadline for this course is January 17 at 5:00 pm (PT); 50% tuition refund deadline is January 22 at 5:00 pm (PT).
Winter
Date(s)
Jan 14—Mar 22
10 weeks
Drop By
Jan 17
3 Units
Fees
$895
Instructor(s):
Seth Harwood
Limit
17
Closed
Please Note: Online courses have a new refund policy. The full tuition refund deadline for this course is January 17 at 5:00 pm (PT); 50% tuition refund deadline is January 22 at 5:00 pm (PT).
If you’ve been eager to write a great mystery, thriller, or crime novel, or yearning to polish an existing draft to a submission-ready sheen, this is the course for you. Starting with opening sentences, we will build a hook for readers and then move to exercises in dialogue, descriptive action, and building three-dimensional characters. We will talk strategy for reaching readers, how good fiction connects, and unpack how to create scenes that sing, shine, and roll out for readers like a movie in their minds.

Students will develop a toolkit for writing effectively through weekly assignments, reading classic writers of the genre, such as Dashiell Hammett and Patricia Highsmith, as well as sections of On Writing by Stephen King. They will build a set of reference points to use for constructive and critical peer discussions. Students will work incrementally on building their opening chapters, submitting roughly 500 words per week in small groups. They will also give paragraph-length responses to their peers. By course’s end, students will have a finished draft of a story or chapter, which will intrigue readers and leave them curious, even after they turn the final page.

Seth Harwood, Author

Seth Harwood is the author of In Broad Daylight, Everyone Pays, and Jack Wakes Up. He has published six novels, a novella, two short story collections, and numerous podcasts and social media postings. He received an MFA from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop and he also teaches at Harvard Extension School.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, 10th Edition (ISBN 9781439156810)
(Required) Hillerman, Penzler, Ed., Best American Mystery Stories of the Century, 1st Edition (ISBN 0618012710)
DOWNLOAD THE PRELIMINARY SYLLABUS » (subject to change)